Full Title: Updated U.S. Geothermal Supply Characterization and Representation for Market Penetration Model Input
Author(s): C. Augustine
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Publication Date: 10/2011

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Description (excerpt):

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP) tasked the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with conducting the annual geothermal supply curve update. The purpose of this project is to characterize and represent the supply of electricity generation potential from geothermal resources in the United States. The principal products of this task are quantitative estimates of the potential electric capacity of U.S. geothermal resources and the cost to develop those resources. The two products are integrated to generate geothermal supply curves. The supply curve data are used primarily as input into the annual Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and DOE portfolio development support processes and are also used extensively as input for market penetration models. The results of this study were used for the Fiscal Year 2011 DOE planning cycle. This report documents the approach taken to identify geothermal resources, determine the electrical producing potential of these resources, and estimate the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), capital costs, and operating and maintenance costs from these geothermal resources at present and future timeframes under various GTP funding levels. Finally, this report discusses the resulting supply curve representation and how improvements can be made to future supply curve updates.

The general approach and flow of information used to develop supply curves and incorporate the results as input into market penetration models is shown in Figure ES-1. The primary steps in generating a supply curve and model input were estimating the resource potential and the cost of developing the resource. Estimating the cost of electricity from the geothermal resources required the resource characteristics, the assumptions under which resource development would take place, and component technology cost and performance data.